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4.4 out of 5 stars269
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 27 February 2006
This has got to be one of the funniest animated movies I’ve seen since Shrek. The story starts with a plot by the Penguins to escape the New York Zoo and make a break for Antarctica. Marty the Zebra (voice by Chris Rock) decides that ‘the wild’ sounds like a place he wants to be so he makes a break from the zoo one night. His best friends, Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo and hypochondriac Melman the Giraffe find him gone and break out of the zoo to find Marty and bring him back to the pampered life of New York Zoo. Things don’t go according to plan and before they know it the four friends are on a ship destined for Kenya. They don’t quite make Kenya either!
Chris Rock is fantastic as Marty and David Schwimmer does a brilliant portrayal as whining hypochondriac Melman but the winners in this film for me have to be the penguins.
This movie is laughs all the way and had both myself and my husband in stitches. If you enjoyed Shrek then you’ll love Madagascar too.
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on 13 July 2008
First of all, let's laugh at the adults moaning about this film being 'terrible' or 'shallow'. Apart from being entirely wrong, they also seem to have forgotten that this ones for the kids!
There are really two points of view that matter here; the kid that watches the movie repeatedly and the adult that has to put up with it! On the first account my three year old son has been watching this for at least a year and still loves it. Multiple viewings don't seem to have tarnished it much at all and the opening three minutes still make him giggle with delight.
For me, as the suffering adult, I'd still give it a high rating. The animation is stylish, the casting perfect and the script funny. As has been mentioned in other reviews, the penguins are absolutely classic! I also loved the American Beauty and Planet Of the Apes references. OK, I admit it. I'm a big kid and as such I also give it the thumbs up!
Parents, get this!
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on 25 February 2006
I disagree with the other reviewers - there's plenty here to make adults laugh... lots of the jokes are aimed at the grown-up audience rather than the kids. It probably depends on your expectations - I wanted an hour and a half of entertainment at the end of a long week at work and Madagascar provided it. I wasn't after a cinematic masterpiece and no, it wasn't quite as funny as Shrek, but it wasn't that far off.
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Excellent family film. Not for those who seek deep spiritual meanings from their movies. This is a film not to think too deeply about but enjoy. The animation is different, but fantastic, and the story line, is easy to follow and fun.
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on 13 March 2006
Dreamworks Animation just can't deliver on the promise of the Shrek films. They're lacklustre attempts seem to involve getting a star cast and peppering the movie with in-jokes and pop culture references.
What they seem to forget is a plotline, and decent humour. However, Madagascar is a slightly better attempt than previous efforts, thanks to a quirky cast of characters.
The plotline sees the animals leaving Central Park zoo for the Wild, where they meet a bunch of party animals, have a fight with some carnivores, and, erm, that's about it.
There are some quite funny sight gags and slapstick, but most of the one-liners (apart from "the toilets even have free mints!") are bland, and the pop-culture references just boring. Light relief, though, is had by the excellent, scheming penguins, as they try to go to the North Pole - and the pay-off of this sub-plot is the best gag in the movie.
The animation favours stylised cartoon, rather than Pixar-level of detail, so while colourful and quirky, looks a little flash and no substance. A bit like the characters. The promising beginning of actual character arcs never quite fulfilled.
But this is a cartoon? Am I being too harsh? Well, who said cartoons are just for kids - these days, adults should expect to get something out of them too. Just don't expect it from this film. Kids, will love it though, unfortunately!
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on 25 March 2006
Less like Shrek, meaning hilarious and heartfelt, and more like Shark Tale, meaning manic and exhausting, Madagascar will keep kids distracted without transporting them to wonderland. Unlike recent age-crossing animated goodies (The Incredibles, Spirited Away), Madagascar is juvenile and deeply generic. The plot? Alex the lion (voiced by Ben Stiller) is living large on steak and applause at New York's Central Park Zoo. The same goes for Gloria the hippo (street-sassed by Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the hypochondriac giraffe (David Schwimmer, annoyingly whiny). The only complaints come from Marty the zebra (Chris Rock, whose potty mouth hasn't been this zippered since the Oscars). Marty's dreams of the wild prompt an escape for the pampered city critters, along with some rogue penguins. Tom McGrath, who co-directed the movie with Eric Darnell, does the voice of Skipper, the head penguin, and his droll wickedness is delicious. It's when the animals hit tropical Madagascar, ruled by King Julien XIII -- a lemur hilariously voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G to you) -- that the trouble starts. The king enlists the "New York giants" to scare off the predatory Foosa. But Alex, his own lion instincts aroused, digs his teeth into Marty's zebra butt. He'll take his steak where he can get it. After offering this PG lesson about the food chain -- is a friend still a friend if you want to eat him?
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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2005
I really can't wait for the release of this DVD. This film is amazing. The scenery is gorgeous, the characters are fabulous but the storyline at first makes you think 'what is this film gonna be like.' Don't be fooled by the story. It works really well and believe me you will be laughing right through. Every character has it's own unique way about them that is fuuny but you'll definately be laughing at the penguins. This film is at the top with Shrek and Wallace and Gromit:The Curse of the were Rabbit. Believe me, if you liked previous Dreamworks films (Shrek 2, Shark Tale, Wallace and Gromit e.t.c) you'll love this. Take my word for it and if you're still not convinced, just check out what other Amazon customers have had to say. Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant. Definately one to have in your DVD collection. Finally, another animated film for all ages!!!
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on 27 March 2007
This film combines slick CGI style animation (Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo) with a huge dollop of cartoonish 'Loony Tune' slapstick. It's bright, colourful, fast moving and in places very funny. I don't have kids, but I'm sure I'd soon regret letting them see this - I'd never get to watch anything else!

My only reservations from proclaiming this a MUST HAVE movie are - too few songs, and a storyline that's slimmer than a minute steak. Hire it or buy it on a Pixar bundle deal.
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on 17 August 2008
In this 2005 DreamWorks animation, a group of animals are left alone on the island of Madagascar after a mishap involving Marty the zebra trying to escape.

Having seen trailers and read reviews, I must be honest and say that I wasn't expecting much more than a good natured fun family film, which it was, but a still enjoyable and funny one with good natured ideologies about friendship and loyalty and a good sense of humour to make it a fun watch.

With an A list cast of voices including Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen and Jaden Pinkett Smith, the film had created a good hype coming to it's release a couple of years ago, and now the success was expected and a sequel is currently a couple of weeks away, and with the same cast, it will hopefully be as good as the first.

The whole concept of a lion, a zebra, a giraffe and a hippo all being best friends is great to even start, and then we see Alex the Lion dancing and showing off for the crowd and the film starts to live up to the expected family fun genre and we are served heavy doses of slapstick comedy and many humorous references to other films, including Cast Away and American Beauty.

The plot is well written with humour and drama encoded in just the right way. However the whole ideology of going away from the zoo could have been developed better and when on the island, the use of the surroundings could have been used for extra comedy as the humour fades away towards the end, which is quite a big anticlimax and seems very rushed.

Nonetheless the humour is there, and is driven by the different personalities of the animals. The egotistical lion, the open-minded zebra, the luckless giraffe and the stubborn hippo all collide and drive the film forward.

The visual effects are good, though I personally never take them into account to make a film and with the plot and characters, make an enjoyable film with good natured ideologies.

7.5/10
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on 21 March 2006
In your face CGI animation with very strong characters, Madagascar stars Alex, the vain lion; Marty, the loud zebra; Melman, the paranoid giraffe and Gloria, the immensely strong hippo. The animals are based in a New York zoo and celebrating Marty’s birthday. But Marty is not happy – he is getting older and not seeing the real world so decides to jump the fence for the night. On finding out his escape, his three friends follow to try to rescue him startling all of New York before them in the process.

It all goes disastrously wrong and the four friends are caught and boxed up to be shipped to a not so small island off the African coast. Further hilarious antics continue on their arrival mostly provided by the resident lemurs and their flamboyant leader Julian (superbly voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen in full Ali G mode). There are a few more worrying moments but mostly laced with humour as the friends are saved from their island isolation by the zoo’s hilarious James Bond style quartet of penguins. But are they?

Madagascar is a superb, inventive hyperactive animation with strong characters aided by the good casting in particular of Chris Rock as Marty, Ben Stiller as Alex and the aforementioned Cohen. It is only let down by a rather weak paved-for-the-sequel ending. Lets hope there is a sequel though. A brilliant film.
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